A term to describe an organized belief system which revolves around supernatural elements and entities.

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When was the Passover Seder ritual formalized?

When were the Passover Seder customs in their present form formalized? As a terminus post quem I think we can surely take 70 CE when the Second Temple was destroyed since parts of the Seder ...
6
votes
1answer
297 views

What is the role of towers in Romanesque architecture?

I'm currently reading some books about romanesque architecture. I would like to know the roles of towers that many religious buildings have. I have some guesses, so I would like you to tell me if ...
2
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0answers
89 views

What kind of bird is Horus? [closed]

Recently I was reading Brugsch's History of Egypt and he describes the figure of Horus as being that of a "sparrowhawk". Now, I have the greatest respect for Brugsch and consider him the best ...
3
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0answers
168 views

Christian hangmen in Islamic countries?

In an interview a senior researcher at Amnesty International explained that as far as I know certainly in Punjab and Sind provinces, the two largest provinces by population, the hangmen ...
18
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9answers
3k views

What cultures did, or do, perform human sacrifice on a regular basis?

Looking at the Area 51 commitment page, I realized that some of the questions that were originally suggested there never got asked here, so I thought I'd add some of them. Something else I would like ...
2
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1answer
80 views

Did the Diggers view property as a sin?

The song, "World Turned Upside Down" by Leon Rosselson, says: The sin of property We do disdain No one has any right to buy and sell The earth for private gain Does this mean that the ...
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0answers
136 views

Is there any evidence for mass conversion to either the Greek or Roman religion? [closed]

Christianity is a proselytizing religion. Is there any evidence that the Romans or Greeks sent out missionaries? Is there any evidence of mass conversions after either the Romans or Greeks conquered ...
13
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6answers
8k views

Is there a civilization that never believed in God in the ancient times?

I'm not obviously talking about small groups or individuals but about an actual civilization that never believed about the existence of a supreme essence. Is atheism just a modern concept?
12
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3answers
2k views

Is there evidence Muslim soldiers fought in the Continental Army?

It is said that Muslims fought for the American Revolution, by serving in the Continental Army. Wikipedia cites a few names: Records from the American Revolutionary War indicate that at least a ...
3
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4answers
903 views

Why was East Asia more religiously tolerant than Europe in medieval time?

In medieval time, different religions coexisted in China, Japan and Korea, but only Christianity was allowed in Europe. What factors made medieval East Asia more religiously tolerant than medieval ...
4
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2answers
308 views

Did Mohammed exist, or was he created as a figurehead afterwards?

I have been listening to a podcast, called "The History of Byzantium" and in one of the episodes there was a discussion about the lack of reference to Mohammad or Qur'an in the century after his ...
24
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5answers
6k views

Why did the Moors invade the Iberian peninsula?

Almost all of the information that I can find with regards to the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula simply states when the Moors invaded. There seems to be very little on what the motivation ...
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1answer
52 views

When was the first pentecostal church created? [closed]

When and where was the first pentecostal church created?
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1answer
117 views

What divided the Roman Catholic church from the Orthodox church? [closed]

What incident or reason divided the Roman catholic church from the orthodox church of Russia. And who decided the differences between the two churches and faiths?
0
votes
1answer
133 views

When was the last time the Catholic Church excommunicated a government official for political reasons?

The Roman Catholic Church has a long history of excommunicating people. These days it is mostly constrained to excommunicating bishops who break with doctrine. The Pope regularly sends letters to ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Have famous rabbis ever converted to Islam?

By "famous rabbi" I mean someone who was actually known in at least one community as an authority on Jewish law, not just one who successfully completed rabbinical training.
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6answers
2k views

Is there any evidence that the Catholic Church slowed innovation during the Middle Ages?

I often hear that the rate of innovation was very high during ancient times in Greece and the Roman empire. I've also heard that the rate of innovation was reduced once the Catholic Church gained ...
20
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6answers
1k views

How did Islam and Hinduism thrive together in Medieval India?

In countries in the Middle East, Indonesia and many North African countries, the onset of Islamic rulers spread Islam in a rapid manner, eventually wiping off the local religion. However in spite of ...
5
votes
2answers
178 views

After the fall of Constantinople was there a re-evaluation of the basis of Russia's religion?

According to the Primary Chronicle, Vladimir the Great rejected Judaism in 987 with the rationale that they lost Jerusalem. When Constantinople was conquered in 1453 by the Ottomans, was there any ...
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9answers
3k views

What were Hitler's religious beliefs?

Hitler is often cited as an example of an evil atheist (along with Stalin and Mao). But there are several quotes from him that seem to indicate he believed in the Christian God - and even used this to ...
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1answer
119 views

Why is the Ku Klux Clan an Christian terrorism organisation? [closed]

the wikipdeia article of the Ku Klux Clan says Though members of the KKK swore to uphold American values and Christian morality, virtually every Christian denomination officially denounced ...
49
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10answers
25k views

Why were Indians not mass converted to Islam/Christianity?

India was ruled by Muslims from around 12 century to 1857 and then by British till 1947 but India still have a large number of Hindus. Countries like Indonesia, Afghanistan, Malaysia now have Islam as ...
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votes
2answers
96 views

Evidence for appealing to the divine as a means of influencing behavior [closed]

Appealing to the divine is a convenient way of making the subjective, objective. For example: Person A: You should never commit adultery. Person B: But adultery is perfectly acceptable to me. ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Were there any wars in ancient Greece where religion played a major part?

I know that the Greeks had a god of war and many other deities associated with warfare in some respect. I also know that the Greeks would consult the oracles for advice prior to their military ...
11
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4answers
11k views

Is there a symbol associated with Loki from the Norse pantheon? [closed]

I've been looking around for any kind of sign, symbol, sigil, or such that can be said to have anything to do with the deity Loki, of the Norse pantheon. There doesn't seem to be anything as obvious ...
4
votes
1answer
233 views

Are there any evidence besides the scriptures that the Ark of the Covenant existed?

Are there any historical evidence that the Ark of the Covenant really existed? What physical or written evidence are there, excluding the scriptures? Note: I am not discounting the writings of the ...
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0answers
39 views

What was Prince Henry Fredrick's personality towards people of other religions like, especially Catholics, and especially those who were Spanish?

What was Prince Henry Fredrick's personality towards people of other religions like, especially Catholics, and especially those who were Spanish? I really want to know about his attitude towards the ...
4
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1answer
77 views

Was Lenin's 'Socialism and Religion' a reaction to something specific? What?

In 1905, Lenin wrote the text 'Socialism and Religion' Some quotes: Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people, over ...
3
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1answer
152 views

Was the Sikh martyr Mati Das sawed in half on the orders of Aurangzeb?

The wikipedia page on Mati Das mentions that he was sawed into two on the express orders of Aurangzeb (he was asked to convert to Islam). Is it true ? I have doubts because I haven't seen this in ...
7
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5answers
3k views

Did Akhenaten's religion influence early Judaism?

There were some claims, for example in the 1st 2 chapters of Moses and Monotheism by Freud, that early Judaism was basically a spin-off of Akhenaten's religion. There are indeed some remarkable ...
14
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1answer
612 views

Robin Hood: Muslims in England in the 12th century

Ever since the 1984 BBC adaptation of Robin Hood, the addition of a Muslim warrior to the band of Merry Men has been a staple of the mythology. From a storytelling perspective, the benefits are clear: ...
2
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2answers
475 views

What specifc training occurred for members of medieval military orders?

What were the dominant martial and clerical themes to the training of knights in medieval military orders? Were there specific fighting or training techniques, or weapons, adopted to meet religious ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Did the ancient Greeks revere the Titans?

We know that the ancient Greeks worshiped the Olympian Gods and their descendants but what about the Titans? did the ancient Greeks ever worship the Titans such as Cronos, Okeanos, Rhea and Hyperion? ...
49
votes
6answers
7k views

Which came first: polytheism or monotheism?

It seems a common position that monotheism tends to evolve out of polytheism. Wikipedia offers a few historical examples of this. However, many polytheistic religions seem to have monotheistic ...
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0answers
96 views

According to Islamic sources, did any prophet kill people for having the wrong religion? [closed]

If I remember correctly, the Bible mentions the fact that Elijah was killing people (directly or by ordering for them to be killed) because they were worshiping some idols and Baal and Moses ordered ...
4
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0answers
100 views

What is the status of Weber's protestant ethic thesis?

Max Weber in his famous book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism elaborates a thesis that relates the development of the capitalistic system is a result of the work ethic that emerged ...
4
votes
1answer
298 views

Alexander the Great and Religion

Did Alexander impose his Greek polytheism on the Persians he conquered or did the Hellenization happen naturally over the course of time and Greek soldiers and traders living among them? Or was it ...
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2answers
228 views

At what point in time did Judaism become popular? [Pre Christianity]

When did Judaism become popular in the ancient world, and what caused it to spread faster at that point in time? (ex: Christianity had its spread assisted by Emperor Constantine in the Roman Empire)
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4answers
4k views

Was there human sacrifice in ancient Crete?

Excavations on the hill of Kydonia, near Chania in Crete, where the third largest palace of the Minoan civilization was, revealed a small area fenced by rocks in the yard, with many animal bones and ...
6
votes
2answers
143 views

Are there any written records of Norse mythology dated prior to Christianization?

As I understand it, most of what we know about Norse mythology is based on texts written in sagas by Christians in the late Middle Ages. Do we have any contemporary accounts of Norse mythology from ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Differences between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the books of Moses [closed]

On Wikipedia, I read that the texts from Exodus in the Dead Sea scrolls contain some differences from the canonical version. However, I couldn't find them online. Can someone give me a few examples?
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votes
2answers
221 views

The crusades against the Moors [closed]

It seems to me that recent history portrays the Christian crusaders as evil and brutal for taking back Spain from the Islamic Moors who conquered them and toppled the Spanish government and ruled over ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Is there any record of the Ebionites outside of the antiheretical polemics of the church fathers?

The Ebionites were a sect of Jewish Christians in the early centuries of Christianity. Little is known about them, and it appears that most or all of their texts were destroyed or lost, possibly as a ...
5
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2answers
358 views

Ancient Christianity

Around the 1st century AD, the three biggest religions in the Roman empire were the Roman pantheon, Judaism, and Christianity. Why was Christianity so much more successful in gaining and keeping ...
4
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0answers
43 views

What exactly were the religious beliefs of Gemistus Plethon?

According to wikipedia: [Gemistus Plethon] was a Greek scholar of Neoplatonic philosophy. He was one of the chief pioneers of the revival of Greek learning in Western Europe. In the dying years of ...
6
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1answer
90 views

Diaries or writings of Cathar Perfecti in 12th Century France

The Cathars were a Gnostic sect of southern (Languedoc) France in the 12th Century. "Perfecti" were individuals in the sect who followed the most extremely austere lives, renouncing worldly pleasures ...
5
votes
4answers
458 views

Why was the spread of Christianity scattered compared to other major religions?

This video of the spread of world religions makes Christianity look like an anomaly. Every other religion spreads out smoothly from a central point, growing at the edges. Christianity begins as a ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

What's the relationship between Solomon's Temple and Christians? [closed]

An Evangelical-Pentecostal church has built a huge replica of Solomon's Temple in Brazil. But why Solomon's Temple? What does it have to do with Jesus Christ and the Christian faith? It's very odd to ...
4
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5answers
292 views

Are there any good examples in earth history of two religions co-existing?

Specifically I am looking at a situation where: Religion A is: Monotheistic Hierarchical (single leader atop the organization) At least slightly expansionist though not necessarily by force of arms ...
8
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2answers
235 views

How did religions interpret rainbows before science explained it? [closed]

A rainbow this morning to work made me think of how religions used to interpret these colorful appearances. Signs from the gods? Repent for your sins? A gift? I want to know how different ...